Spring is on its way…

February 23, 2011

In the depths of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)

We are probably still 4 weeks or more away from the first blade of grass, with over a foot of snow on the ground in spite of the warm temperatures of last week.  Yet over the past couple of weeks, I have felt so grateful for the increasing daylight.  This is the time of year I love: winter with sunlight.  So it is time to start planning the garden, make a wish list of perennials we want, a sketch of their placement and research the nurseries who might carry them.  I want to try some less common plants this time but it also means they might be hard to find.  We are in a zone 4 though we were told last year we might be able to get away with zone 5 plants.  I am ready to test a few to see.  I love the garden, love to plan it but invariably find myself with little time to tend to it.  Too many fun things to do in life and too little time…  I am reading my landscaping books, researching Maine native plants, learning from master gardeners.  Between the construction, the hardscape repairs we lost most of the plants and created new spaces to plant.  Last year we planted a few shrubs in the front and side of the house, replanting all that we could save, now we need to fill the rest.

First I am looking at the backyard, we loved the yard as we had originally planted it so I will start from there.  Some deciduous azaleas, a bed of vegetables, an “English garden” bed, and my roses.  We had two beds of roses, only two remain and I miss them.  I started by reading my rose books and learned quite a bit.  Back some 16 years ago, the school of thought was that delicate roses grafted on a more vigorous root would fair better in New England winters than own root roses.  Over the years, the host slowly took over and then spread uncontrollably, erasing the beautiful antique roses we had planted.  I have to admit that it is hard to know whether the graft site might have been too exposed giving the host the opportunity to grow or as the gardener mentioned “it eventually always happens”, we are now looking for own root plants and hope to find the colors and type we like.  I love to cut flowers to brighten up the house and fill it with fragrance and color.

The vegetable bed will be a garden unit study for DD.  She wanted to plant vegetables and herbs so I found a unit study package to help along with a book I highly recommend called Gardening with kids by Beth Richardson.  I should have a plan of the 2-3 week program mid-March, planting won’t start until the full moon after Memorial Day… There must be a good story behind and I will research it…  Memorial Day signals the official start of the panting season unless the weather is unusually warm.  In previous years we have had great success with our vegetable patch though the growing season is short.  I start from seeds and some plants from the nursery, I have not had the time or inclination to start seedlings in the winter… one of these years maybe…

The sun is shining here, have a wonderful day!

4-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

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